Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vegan Asparagus Goldenrod

Growing up in the early '70's, one of my favorite vegetable dishes was where my Mom would make asparagus on toast with a white sauce and chopped bits of yellow boiled egg-yolk. (I know, sounds odd maybe? But I always thought it was so "fancy" and elegant).

I didn't realize it was actually a "real" recipe until I discovered years later (in a fancy restaurant, no less) that my childhood favorite was known as "Asparagus Goldenrod" and it was STILL delicious.

In attempting to re-create this comfort-food memory in my now-vegan kitchen, I realized it was simply a matter of a non-dairy white-sauce and possibly something instead of the chopped boiled egg-yolks. Easy - us vegan folk tend to use tofu for eggs whenever we get the chance. (OK, not necessarily!) But it works in this case, scrambling it with a bit of turmeric for that characteristic "golden" color. First time experimenting, I nailed the recipe right on!!
Next time you're looking for something just a little different, but quick and easy (perfect for brunch and sort-of retro) to do with asparagus, give this a try.

Asparagus Goldenrod

  • 1/2 a brick firm, water-packed tofu
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp. vegetarian "chicken"-flavor bullion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. India Black Salt

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed, optional, if you want.

  • 4 to 6 slices toast, cut in half diagonally (these are called "toast points" which makes them sound all fancy)
  • 1 tablespoon snipped, fresh chives

Make the "egg" part first; Mash tofu in a skillet with a small bit of oil. You want small pieces, I use a potato masher or a fork. Add spices and stir until well-incorporated, heat on medium-high and "scramble"-fry until dried out and crumbly. This takes 5 - 7 minutes. Mash a bit more to break up, and set aside.

Prepare asparagus; Break off woody bases where spears snap easily. If you like, slice the spears diagonally into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Place the pieces in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and reduce the heat. Steam for 5 to 8 minutes or until the asparagus is crisp-tender.

Meanwhile, prepare white sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt margarine. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add the non-dairy milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture is bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
Add the tarragon, if using. Heat the mixture through.
Arrange 2 toast slices on each plate. Top with the asparagus. Spoon on the white sauce. Sprinkle some finely crumbled tofu on top of white sauce. Garnish with the chives to make it look even more fancy.


Bianca said...

I love retro foods like that! I must give this a try as asparagus comes into season.

openmind said...

i have read in a blog once that asparagus has a distinct taste that would only get noticed if there are not too many ingredients on it...my mom cooked an asparagus meal for me once when i helped her automate crystal for her business reports..i missed that meal